Brockwood Park 1974
Brockwood Park 1st Public Talk 31st August 1974
I don't know how you listen to these talks, because what we are going to talk over together is quite serious. It is a great matter and we ought to think over it together, go into it together, not interpreting according to our particular idiosyncrasies and fancies and likes and dislikes, but rather investigate together, examine together, so that we establish between ourselves a kind of communication in which there is sharing, in which there is journeying together into the human problems, and especially into this question of what is religion. Because religion is an action in which all our total energy is demanded. Every other action is fragmentary, it is only the religious mind, the religious activity, the religious comprehension or understanding or an insight, that can bring about, I feel, a total inward revolution which is so utterly necessary. I mean by religion not all that is going on in its name - the sects, the gurus, the drugs, the experiences, the circus that is going on in temples and churches and mosques and all the rest of it. I do not consider that religion at all; they are merely play acting, a fanciful, romantic, sentimental thing that has no meaning at all. Really they are nonsense! And we mean by religion not belief, not rituals, not accepting authority, not trying to discover or experience something other than what we want: but rather a religion is the gathering of our total energy so that the mind can comprehend, be in it as it were, so that our actions are never fragmentary, our actions, our daily relationships, our whole way of life is whole, not broken up. To me that is religion, and to go beyond it, to go beyond the structure of thought.
That is what we are going to talk over together during this week. And to talk this thing over together I think it becomes necessary to observe, not the description which the speaker is giving, but to observe what is going on. And to observe there is no need for interpretation, to observe there is no need for another to tell us how to observe, or what to observe. There is no need to interpret what we observe because the interpreter is the observed. We will go into all this as we go along.
So we have to observe obviously, not only our lives but also what is going on around us - the misery, the conflict, the violence, the extraordinary sense of despair, the sorrow, the meaningless existence that one leads. And to escape from that we resort to all kinds of fanciful, sectarian beliefs. The gurus are multiplying like mushrooms in the winter - or in the autumn - all over the world. They are bringing their own particular fancy, their traditions and imposing it on others. And that is not religion, that is sheer nonsense, traditional acceptance of what has been, what is dead and put into different words and different circumstances. So it becomes very important, it seems to me, not only that we must bring about a change in the world outside us, but also a total revolution psychologically, inwardly. That seems to me the most urgent and necessary thing. That change will bring about naturally and inevitably, a change in the social structure, in our relationship, in our whole activity of life.
So the first thing, it seems to me, is the act of observation, to observe, to observe without the observer. We will go into this because it is quite a difficult problem.
To observe, not as an Englishman, or a Hindu or a Buddhist, or a Catholic or a Protestant, or an American, or a Communist, or a Socialist or what you will, but to observe without these conditioning attitudes, to observe without the traditional acceptance, to observe without the 'me' interfering with the observation. The 'me' that is the result of the past, the result of all our traditions, the result of our education, the result of our social environmental economic influence and so on - this 'me' that interferes with the observation. Now is it possible to totally eliminate in this observation this activity of the 'me'? Because it is the 'me' that separates and brings about conflict. The 'me' that separates in our relationships with each other and thereby brings conflict in our relationship. So is it possible to observe this whole phenomenon of existence without the traditional 'me', with its prejudices, opinions, judgements, its desires and pleasures and fears? Is that at all possible? If it is not possible then we are caught in the same old trap of slight reformation in the same field, in the same area, with a little more experience, a little more expansive knowledge and so on but we always remain in the same area unless there is a radical understanding of the whole structure of the 'me'. It seems to me that is so obvious and most of us are apt to forget that, most of us are so burdened with our own opinions, with our own judgements, with our own individualistic attitudes that we are incapable of perceiving the whole. And in the perception of the whole lies our salvation. I mean by the word salvation, in the sense a different way of living, a different way of acting, a different way of thinking so that we can live totally at peace within ourselves without conflict, without a problem.
That is what we are going to talk over together during this week: whether the human mind, so conditioned, through time, through evolution, through all the experiences, through a great deal of knowledge, whether such a mind, your mind, our mind, our consciousness can go beyond itself? Not in theory, not in a fancy, not in romantic experiences but actually without any sense of illusion. Because our consciousness is the consciousness of the world. I think this is important to understand. Our consciousness with its content is the consciousness of every human being in the world. His content may vary a little bit here and there, different colour, different shape, different form, but it is essentially the content of our consciousness is the consciousness of the world. And if the content can be changed then the consciousness of the world can also be changed. Are we meeting each other over this thing? Are we talking the same language?
If I can change the content of my consciousness it will obviously affect the consciousness of others. And the content of my consciousness makes up my consciousness. The content is the consciousness. The content is not separate from consciousness. So is it possible for me, for a human being, living in this world, with all the travail, with all the misery, confusion, suffering, violence, with the separate nationalities with their conflicts, with their wars, with their brutalities, with all the calamities that are going on in the world, which is part of my consciousness, which is part of your consciousness - the consciousness that has been trained to accept saviours, teachers, gurus, authority - all that consciousness, can that be transformed? And if it can be transformed what is the way to do it? Obviously not a method. Method implies a preconceived plan or a system invented by somebody whom you respect or whom you think has got the final answer, and according to that method conform. Which we have done, and therefore it is still within the same pattern. So if one rejects the conformity to any pattern, to any method, to any end, that is, to deny not through resistance but through understanding, having an insight into the foolishness of conformity, then the mind comes across a much more difficult problem which is fear. Please this is not mere talk to which you are listening to a few words and ideas and a few instructive sentences, but rather we are together, and I keep on repeating it, together, sharing this thing. Sharing implies attention, sharing implies the necessity, the urgency of understanding, not intellectually, not verbally, but understanding with our minds, with our hearts, with our whole being.
So as we said, our consciousness with its content is the consciousness of the world, because wherever you go people are suffering, there is poverty, there is misery, there is brutality, which is part of our daily life. There is social injustice, the tremendously wealthy and the poor and so on and so on. Wherever one goes this is an absolute fact. And each one of us is suffering, is caught in all kinds of problems, sexual, personal, collective and so on. This conflict goes on right through the world in every human being. And our consciousness is theirs. And therein lies compassion; not intellectual compassion but the actual passion for this whole human being, who is caught in this extraordinary travail. And when one looks at this consciousness without interpreting it as good or bad, or noble or ignoble, or beautiful or ugly, just to observe it without any interpretation, then you will see for yourself that there is a tremendous sense of fear, insecurity, lack of certainty. And because of that sense of insecurity we escape into every form of neurotic security. Please do observe it in yourselves, not merely accept what the speaker is saying. And when you observe it, who is the observer? Right? Who is the observer that is observing this whole phenomenon? Is the observer different from the thing observed? Is the thinker different from the thought? Is the experiencer different from the thing he experiences? It seems to me that is one of the basic things that we have to understand. To us there is a division between the observer and the observed. And this division brings about conflict. Wherever there is division there must be conflict, the Arab, the Jew and the whole business.
So one must be very clear, it seems to me, about this question: who is the observer and is the observer different from the thing observed? I look at my consciousness - I don't know if you have ever tried to look at your consciousness. Look at it as though you were looking at yourself in the mirror. To look at all the activities, conscious as well as unconscious, activities of this consciousness, which is within the field of time, which is within the area of thought. Now can one observe it? Or does one observe it as though it was something outside of oneself? And if you do observe it, is the observer who is observing different from the thing observed? And what makes him different? Are we all meeting each other? We are taking a journey together, don't let me walk by myself please, we are all together in this. What is the observer? And what is the structure and the nature of the observer? Is the observer the past, with his experiences, with his knowledge, with his accumulated hurts, with his sorrows and so on, is the observer the past? Is the observer the 'me'? And is the observer, being the past, is he capable of looking at what is going on around him now? That is, if I am living in the past, the remembrances, the hurts, the sorrows, all the knowledge the mind has accumulated and all knowledge is always in the past, and with that mind observe. And when I do observe with that mind I am always looking through the eyes that have been wounded, through the eyes that have remembered things of the past. So I am always looking through the past, through the accumulated tradition, and so I am never looking at the present. There is a division between the observer who is the past, and the active, moving, living present. So there is a conflict between the observer and the observed. May I go on? Is this clear?
And can the mind observe without the observer? This is not a conundrum, this is not a trick, this is not something to speculate about. You can see it for yourself, you can have an insight into the reality. That is, the observer can never observe. He can observe what he wants to observe, he observes according to his desires, to his fears, to his inclinations, romantic demands and so on and so on. And is not the observer the observed? The observed becomes totally different when the observer is himself totally different. If I have been brought up as a Catholic or a Buddhist, or a HIndu, or god knows what else, and I observe life, this extraordinary movement of life with my conditioned mind, with my beliefs, with my fears, with my saviours, I am observing not 'what is', but I am observing my own conditioning and therefore I never observe 'what is' - right? And when I observe, is the observer different from me? Or the observer is the observed - you understand? Which eliminates altogether conflict. Because you see our life, our education, our way of living is based on conflict - in all our relationships, in all our activities, the way we live, the way we think springs from this everlasting conflict between you and me, between each other, outwardly as well as inwardly. And the religious life so far has been heightened conflict. A life of torture - you must come to God, or whatever that thing is through torture, through conformity, through acceptance of a belief - which are all forms of conflict. And a mind that is in conflict is obviously not a religious mind.
So one comes to the point: can the mind, your mind, observe without the observer? And that becomes extremely arduous because in that there is this whole question of fear - right? There is not only the conscious fears but the deep rooted fears. Now can the mind be free of fear? Not a few fears, or the fears that one is conscious of, but the entire structure of fear, conscious as well as unconscious? Perhaps you would say that it is not possible, no human being can live in this world without fear. Now we are asking whether a mind that lives in fear - fear of tomorrow, fear of what has been, fear of what might be, fear of what is, fear in relationship, fear of loneliness, fear, a dozen forms of fears, the most absurd fears and the most tragic fears - can the mind be free of all that?
Now how do you investigate fear? I am afraid of a dozen things. How do I investigate and be free of that fear, bearing in mind that the observer is the observed - right? Fear is not different from the observer. The observer is part of that fear, obviously. So how is the mind to be free of that fear. Go on sirs, let's talk it over together. Because with the burden of fear one lives in darkness, from that fear arises aggression, violence, all the neurotic activities that go on, not only in the religious field but in daily relationship. So for a healthy, sane mind that is whole there must be freedom from fear. Not partial freedom but total freedom. There is no such thing as partial freedom. So how is one, bearing in mind that the observer is the observed, the observer is fear himself and when he observes fear as something separate from him then there is conflict, then he tries to overcome it, suppress it, escape from it, and so on. But when one has this insight, this truth that the observer is the observed, then what takes place? You are following all this? No? I am so sorry.
All right let me put it differently: I am angry, is that anger different from me? Me, the observer, who says "I am angry". Or that anger is part of me. It seems so simple. No? And when I realize that, that the observer is the observed, that the anger which I recognize is part of me, not something apart, then what am I to do with that anger? I am not separate from that anger. I am anger. I am not separate from violence. I am that violence. That violence has come about through my fear, that fear has brought about aggression. So I am all that. Then what takes place?
Let us look at it a little more: when I am angry each response, which I call anger, is recognized, recognized because I have been angry before. So next time I am angry I recognize it and that makes that anger still stronger - right? I wonder if you see this? Because I am looking at this new response with the recognition of a previous anger - right? So I am merely recognizing anger. I am not going beyond it, I am merely recognizing it each time. So can I, can the mind observe that anger without recognition, without using the word anger, which is a form of recognition? Look: we are violent human beings in so many ways, we may have a gentle face and quiet voice but deeply we are violent people. And there are violent activities, violent speech and all the rest of it. Now is that violence different from me, from the observer? I see that the observer is part of that violence, it is not the observer is non-violent, therefore he looks at violence, but the observer himself is part of that. Then what shall he do? You understand my question? If I am part of that violence, which I am, and before I have separated myself from that violence saying, "I must suppress it, I must conquer it, I must go beyond it" and therefore there is a conflict between that and myself. Now I have eliminated that absurdity, I see the fact that I am violent, the very structure of me is violent. Then what takes place? Obviously there is no desire, no desire to overcome it because I am part of that. Please see this. There is no question of my trying to overcome it, suppress it, and suppression, overcoming, escaping is a form of wastage of energy - isn't it? Now when the observer is the observed I have all the energy. Are we meeting? I have all that energy, which has been dissipated before by escapes, by suppression, by overcoming it. Now I have that tremendous energy which comes about when the observer is the observed, and that energy can go beyond itself, which is violence. I wonder if I am making myself clear.
We need energy, don't we, to do anything. I need energy to go beyond violence, and I have wasted that energy through suppression, through conformity, through escape, through rationalization, through all kinds of forms of escapes and justifications. And when I see the observer is the observed and all that energy is concentrated, and when there is that total energy there is no violence. It is only fragments that create violence. Have you got it?
Questioner: There is interaction.
K. Not interaction sir. No let's stick to one thing, don't bring in interaction yet, we will come to that.
That is sir, look, human beings have tried right through the world, tried in the old traditional way of overcoming violence, overcoming anger, through rationalization, justification, through escapes, through all kinds of neurotic activities and we have not gone beyond violence, we have not gone beyond the anger, the brutality and all the rest of it. Now can the mind go beyond it? Once and for all finish with violence? And it is possible only when we realize the observer is the observed, because then in that observation there is no escape, no interpretation, no rationalization, just the thing is, and therefore you have the energy to go beyond - right? You do this and you will see it. But you must first understand the reason, the logic, the truth that the observer is the observed.
That is, when you look at another - wife, husband, girl-friend, boy and so on - are you different from the thing you observe, from the person you observe? Maybe a man or a woman, the form may be different, the sex may be different, but psychologically is your consciousness different from hers or his? Do investigate this as we go along. And when you observe, you are observing your own image, you are not observing another. The image which you have built through various interaction, the image you have built about her or him, and that image is looking. This is so obvious, isn't it? So when one really understands, not verbally, not intellectually, but as an actuality, as something true, then you will see that when the observer is the observed all conflict comes to an end, and therefore our relationship with each other undergoes a radical transformation - right?
So can the mind observe fear? We are going back to that. Your fear - fear of death, fear of life, fear of loneliness, fear of darkness, fear of being nobody, fear of not becoming a great howling success, fear of not being a leader, a writer, this or that, ten different things. First of all, is one aware of it? Or one leads such a superficial life, everlastingly talking about something else, and so one is never aware of oneself, of one's own fears. Then if one becomes aware of those fears, at what level do you become aware? Is it an intellectual awareness of your fears, or are you actually aware of your fears - aware in the sense that you are aware of the colour of the jersey that is next to you? And aware at the deeper levels of your mind of your fear, the deep corners, hidden, and if they are hidden how are they to be exposed? Must you go to an analyst? And the analyst is yourself, he needs to be analysed too, otherwise he wouldn't be an analyst!
So how do you uncover this whole structure, the intricacies of fear? You know this is a tremendous problem, not just to be listened to for two or three minutes and then forget about it. To find out for oneself whether it is possible to expose all the fears, or there is only one central fear, which has many branches. And when one sees the central fear the branches begin to wither away. Is there one central fear - like the trunk of a tree, though it has many branches, and if you could understand that one root of fear you have understood the whole network of fear? Now how do you approach it? From the periphery, or from the centre? You understand my question? If the mind can understand the root of fear then the branches, the various aspects of fear have no meaning, they wither away. So what is the root of fear? Go on sirs. Can you look at your fear - please look at it now - invite it - naturally you are not afraid sitting here, but you know what your fears are: loneliness, not being loved, not being beautiful, frightened of losing your position, your job, your this, or that, ten different things. Now by looking at one fear, at your particular fear, you can then see the root of that fear, and not only the root of that fear but the root of all fear - you understand? Through one fear, by observing it, by observing it in the sense that the observer is the observed, then you will see for yourself that through one fear you discover the very root of all fear.
Suppose one is afraid - of what?
K. Loneliness. One is afraid of loneliness. Now first of all have you looked at loneliness, or is that an idea of which you are frightened? Not the fact of loneliness but the idea of loneliness - you see the difference? Which is it? The idea frightens you, or the actuality frightens you.
Q: Not separate, is it?
K: No sir, look. I have an idea of loneliness. The idea being the rationalization of thought which says, "I don't know what it is but I am frightened of it". Or I know what loneliness is, which is not an idea, but an actuality. I know it when I am in with a crowd I suddenly feel that I am not related to anything, that I am absolutely disassociated, lost, cannot rely on anybody. All my moorings have been cut away and I feel tremendously lonely, frightened. That is an actuality. But the idea about it is not an actuality, and most of us, I am afraid, have an idea about it.
So if it is not an idea but an actuality, what is loneliness? Aren't we breeding it all the time - by our self-centred activity, by this tremendous concern about ourselves, our looks, our attitudes, our opinions, our judgements, our position, our status, our importance, all that, all that is a form of isolation. Throughout the day, for years we have done this, and suddenly we find we are utterly isolated, our beliefs and god and everything goes away. There is this sense of tremendous isolation, which cannot be penetrated, and that naturally brings great fear. Now I observe it, in my life, in my daily life, that my activities, my thoughts, my desires, my pleasures, my experiences are more and more isolating. And the ultimate sense is death, that is a different point. And I observe it. I observe it in my daily movements, in my daily activities. And in the observation of this loneliness, the observer is part of that loneliness, is essentially that loneliness. So the observer is the observed - right? And therefore he cannot possibly escape from it, he cannot cover it up, try to fill it with good activity or with whatever it is, going off to churches and meditation and all the rest of it. So the observer is the observed. And therefore what happens then? You have eliminated altogether conflict, haven't you? Trying to escape from it, try to cover it up, try to rationalize it, you are faced with it, you are that. And when you are confronted with it completely and there is no escape and you are that, then there is no problem, is there? You understand, there is no problem because then there is no sense of loneliness at all. I wonder if you see this?
Q: Surely it is a problem seeing...
K: We are coming to that presently.
So can you observe your fear? Through one fear trace the very root of all fear. That is, through this sense of loneliness haven't you traced the root of fear? I am lonely. I know what that means not as an idea but as an actuality. I know what hunger is, as an actuality, not somebody has told me what hunger is. There is this extraordinary sense of loneliness, isolation. Isolation is a form of resistance, is a form of exclusion. And I am fully aware of it. And I am also aware that the observer is the observed. And there is fear there, deep rooted fear; through one factor of fear, of loneliness, I have been able to find out, look at the central fact of fear, which is the non-existence of the observer. I wonder if you see this? Am I making this clear, or not at all? If the observer is not, the observer being the past, the observer being his opinions, judgements, evaluations, rationalizations, interpretations, all the tradition, if that is not, where is fear? You understand? If the 'me' is not, where is the fear? But we are educated religiously, in colleges, schools and universities, we are educated to the assertion, the cultivation of the 'me' as the observer. No? I am a Catholic, I am a Protestant, I am a British, I am this, I am that, all the rest of it. And by looking at one fear I have been able to trace, the mind has been able to look and trace the central fact of fear, which is the non existence of the observer, the 'me'. And can I live in this world without that 'me'? - when everything around me is an assertion of the 'me', their culture, their works of art, their business, politics, religion, everything around me says, asserts, 'be you, me' - cultivate the 'me'. In that culture, in that civilization can one live without the 'me'? You understand all this sirs? Therefore the monk says you can't, escape from the world, go to a monastery, change your name, devote your life to this and that, but the 'me' is still there because that 'me' has identified itself with the image it has projected itself as the this and the that and the other. But that 'me' is still there in a different form.
So can one live - please this is a tremendously important and a very, very serious question, it is not just something to play around with - can you live without that 'me' in this monstrous world? That means can one live sanely in a world of insanity? And the world is insane, with all the make-belief of religions. You know all that is happening, I don't have to tell you. Can you live in a world which is insane and yourself be totally sane?
Now who will answer you that question, except yourself obviously. So that means you have to see that your consciousness, with all its content, is the consciousness of the world. That is not a statement, that is a reality, that is something tremendously real. The content of your consciousness makes up your consciousness. Without the content there is no consciousness. Your content now is fear, pleasure, all the things that are going on in the world, the culture which is so exalted, which is so praised, which has such a marvellous culture with its wars, with its brutalities, with its injustice, with its starvation, hunger, you know all that is happening in the world - of that consciousness we are. And your consciousness undergoes radical change and that change affects the consciousness of the world, actually it does. Take any of the people who have so-called brought about physical revolution, Lenin, the French Revolution people, you may not approve of what they did but they affected the consciousness of the world, like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and all that gang.
Q: Like Christ.
K: Oh! All right take your Christ. You see how you escape? You escape into your old traditions. You don't say, 'Look I have got to change, my consciousness must undergo a radical transformation' - not somebody else has done this, I was giving you an example. One hasn't got to expand the examples.
So one comes to the central issue: can your consciousness undergo a radical change? And it can only undergo a radical change when this central fact is understood or seen, that the observer is the observed. And when you see that all conflict inwardly comes to an end, bound to, because where there is division between the observer and the observed, anger and not anger, then there is conflict. When the Arab and the Jew see that they are the same human beings there is no need for conflict. So can you observe your conflict, and that conflict is not separate from you, you are that conflict.
Look, this leads to something extraordinary if you go into it. The experiencer is the experience - you understand? Therefore when you meditate your meditation is part of yourself, therefore you are not going away from yourself. I wonder if you see all this. When you talk about meditation - that is a different thing - that is, meditation is not something to be invited, you cannot practise it, you cannot sit down and breathe and do all those tricks. Meditation is something totally outside the field of thought. We will go into it some other time. Right.
Would you like to ask questions about all this?
Q: What about the unconscious fears?
K: I explained that sir. What about the unconscious fears? Now, all right. Can the conscious mind investigate the unconscious fears? The conscious mind can only investigate itself, at its own level, it can't investigate something it doesn't know - right? Science can only explain what it knows, not what it does not know. So we are asking: is it possible for the unconscious content to be uncovered, exposed without the consciousness interfering with it - you understand my question? Look sir: I can investigate my own fears consciously, superficial fears. That is fairly simple? By observing in my relationship with others, in interaction, watching, when I am walking, talking, looking, I can observe the fears very easily. But I have all the deep hidden fears, the racial fears, the family fears, the fears that have been imposed upon me, the fears that I have accumulated through hurt, and we are hurt from childhood. All along in life we are being hurt, hurt, hurt; the more sensitive we are the more hurt we are and the deeper the hurts are, and they are all there, hidden somewhere. Now how is the mind to expose all that? You have understood my question? I realize that deliberate enquiry won't reveal it. Right? A deliberate action saying, I must investigate to find out, you can't: therefore what am I to do? Will analysis open the door? Will group therapy open the door? Will talking to somebody open the door? Please these are all the questions we are putting all the time. Or is there a way of opening the door without the least effort on the part of the mind? You understand? The more I make effort to enquire into the unconscious, the more it becomes impossible because I don't know what there is. Through analysis I cannot expose it. I can reveal a few layers of it, but analysis has its own problems, which we won't go into now. So what shall I do? I can't analyse because I don't know what there is to be analysed. I can't say to myself I must deliberately sit down, talk about it to others, or talk to myself and see if I can't break the door open, I can't do it. So I say to myself perhaps if I leave it completely alone, but be aware of it, leave it completely alone and watch what comes. That means the mind, the superficial mind, has become quiet - right? It is not interfering, it is not asking, it is not demanding, it is not investigating, it is not translating, it is absolutely quiet in observing. Are you following all this?
So I can observe, the mind can observe without the least effort, because effort will not solve the problem. So when the superficial mind is quiet, really quiet, not saying, I will wait until - but absolutely quiet, then this other thing comes up. I don't know if you see the truth of it. It is like watching a child, it reveals all its movements. So in the same way to investigate, to understand, to look into the deep layers of the unconscious, analysis is not the way, group therapy is not the way, talking to others is not the way. The only way is for the mind, the superficial mind not to interfere. That means to be absolutely quiet and watch.
Now if you have ever attended, if you give your attention to something, there is no question of time, is there? Have you ever done this? When you give complete attention to something, are you listening now with complete attention to what is being said? If you are, at that moment of attention there is no time, is there? Come on sirs. At that moment there is no question of thought is there? Your whole energy, both nervous, psychological, mental, every kind of energy is completely attentive. Now being so attentive, is there an unconscious or conscious? You understand? There is only attention. And therefore in that state of attention you will see there is no remnants of the unconscious with its content - right?
Q: I think we are confused because there are two different kinds of conflict that can exist. If we argue with ourselves and say 'should I do this?', and then we say, 'no, I won't do this, or I will do it' - we argue back and forth. That is one form of conflict. That is a cover-up. That is our means of avoidance. And that is different from real conflict which works towards a solution. There are two different kinds of conflict, and that is why people here are confused, because one conflict is a method of avoidance, and the other conflict is not a means of avoidance but a means of peeling away avoidance.
K: You are saying, if I understand it rightly, conflict exists where there is choice.
Q: No, no. Where there is avoidance there are two different kinds of conflict. Do you understand what I am saying?
K: Yes, I think I understand. Which is you are saying: there are two different kinds of conflict. But all conflicts are the same, there are not two different kinds.
Q: No. One is used to avoid the real conflict as a solution.
K: I see. Through conflict you will find a solution. That is what the Arabs and the Jews are saying! (Laughter)
Q: No. They are using the kind of conflict which is a method of avoidance.
K: Please madame. If I may suggest you are repeating the same thing. You are not listening, if I may say so. It is we are saying all conflicts are the same, there are not different kinds of conflicts. Conflict is conflict, whether it is between a husband and a wife, or a girl and a boy, or between nations and nations. The war is the extreme expression of that division - conflict. We are talking of ending conflict, whether it is possible to end conflict in ourselves, in a human mind. If that conflict is not ended we will always live in misery, we will always live what we are living now.
Q: I wonder if you would like to elaborate on the fact that as we don't realize the old traditions and therefore when you look at another person we should be compassionate towards them.
K: So what is the question madame?
Q: The question is: are you stating as a fact that people through their past conditioning are to be pitied?
K: To be pitied?
Q: Yes, and therefore we are all to be pitied.
K: The question has been answered, hasn't it? (Laughter). Right.
Brockwood Park 1974
Brockwood Park 1st Public Talk 31st August 1974
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